This week the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, have been sharing our thoughts on the subject of divorce with you all. Specifically, we have tried to provide you with an overview of the divorce process, not necessarily from a law-based perspective but from a strategy and advice perspective on other important aspects of your case. If you have not had an opportunity yet to read through those blog posts, I would recommend that you take some time to go back and read them so that you don't miss out on a tip that could benefit you.
Today we will conclude our series of blog posts on this topic by giving you a "grab bag" of assorted tips that I believe are helpful for any person considering divorce or who has recently been served with divorce papers. While you may not be able to change the position that you find yourself in, you do have the ability to change how you deal with your circumstances and adapt to them. Do not underestimate the effect you can have on your surroundings or how your attitude can positively impact your divorce.
Who to tell about your divorce and how to tell them
Talking to your children about your divorce will probably be one of the most challenging conversations you will ever have. If you've been reading along with us this week, then you know that our recommendation is to talk to your children about the divorce with your spouse. If you cannot be in the same room as your spouse due to concerns about your safety, this is not an option. However, in most circumstances, you should consider this as the best way to deliver some difficult news to your children.
For everybody else, you will be delivering the news of your divorce on your own without the assistance of another person. In some ways, this is probably a good thing. You probably aren't feeling all that great about the divorce, and being able to have this conversation with another person on your terms is probably for the best. However you choose to deliver the message of your divorce, and to whom you choose to deliver it, it is ultimately up to you. There are no rules on this subject that you have to adhere to. But, since you're here on our blog, I will give you my opinion on this subject.
Don't concern yourself with the opinion of other people regarding your divorce.
Simply put, other people's opinions regarding your divorce do not matter. Yes, they may matter to you on an emotional level, but in the grand scheme of things, your best friend's thoughts on your divorce won't impact your case one iota. If someone thinks it is the greatest thing in the world that you are getting a divorce or thinks it is the worst thing in the world, it doesn't matter.
A good rule of thumb in deciding who to tell about your divorce is to figure out what people have an actual reason for knowing that you are getting a divorce. Your close family and friends are people that you will likely want to tell about your divorce. These folks you have a close relationship with and will make up your support system during the case. They are also people that know you intimately and can often provide you with advice and perspective that will be helpful to you in your case. You have a definite "why" for these folks if you are looking for reasons to disclose your divorce.
Just about anybody else in the world should be considered case-by-case basis. If you have a financial advisor, that person should know because there may be financial matters that need to be attended to the re-naming of beneficiaries on retirement and insurance policies- that needs to be attended to by both you and your spouse. Likewise, if you have an attorney who has helped you and your spouse with your wills, you will need to contact them to update them on your divorce. It could be that once your divorce is finalized that quite a bit of your will needs to be changed. Telling your estate planner in advance about the upcoming change will allow them to begin to make potential changes that only need your approval once the divorce has been completed.
Finally, consider telling your employer about the divorce. You may have some expected and unexpected absences related to the divorce. Court appearances, mediations, and simple meetings with your attorney may require you to leave work early on specific dates or miss entire days of work for other reasons. Your employer will appreciate you telling them in advance of these potential work-personal conflicts so that they can better plan your workload for those periods.
To wrap it all up, if you do not have a good reason for telling someone that you are getting a divorce, then you probably should keep it to yourself. You are not being secretive or anything like that. You choose to keep a personal matter private, just as you do with many other aspects of your life. Your divorce is your business, and you get to choose who knows about it. Don't feel guilty for doing so under any circumstances.
Think about your goals for the divorce and select an attorney to help you achieve those goals
Whether you are an expert on divorces or are a novice, you should familiarize yourself with the basic steps and processes involved in a divorce in Texas. Reading blog posts from our website is a good start! Once you start to feel more comfortable with divorce, start to think about the different aspects of your case and the goals you have regarding each. What would you like to accomplish? How do you see your case proceeding? How can you envision arriving at each of those goals?
Once you are ready to speak to an attorney, do some research and contact lawyers you are interested in. Some attorneys (like those with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan) offer free consultations to people in the community with questions about family law matters. We will sit down with you to go over your questions, listen to your story, and then help you brainstorm solutions and avoid potential hazards relevant to your situation. You can then use this information to assist you in formulating a road map for your case.
Your consultation with an attorney is an opportunity to determine if you are comfortable having that person represent you. A family law case is deeply personal and requires a strong bond between attorney and client. Suppose you have any misgivings about an attorney; you should address those at the consultation. If your concerns are not eliminated, you need to continue searching for representation. Taking the time to make a well-reasoned and intelligent decision regarding a representative is one of the most decisions you will make in your case. Do not take this responsibility lightly.
No two divorces are created equal- work with an attorney who has the experience to help you.
The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, would like to thank you for showing an interest in this vital topic. If you have any questions or concerns about what you've read throughout our series of blogs on divorce, please contact us today. We will be happy to meet with you in a free-of-charge consultation to answer questions and address any issues you may have in your life related to divorce and family law.
Our attorneys have experience representing all sorts of people in divorce cases across southeast Texas. We know that all cases demand an equal amount of respect and time, and we promise that you will be treated as an individual while with our office- not as just another file in our file cabinet.